Friday 30 September 2016

Survivors of Homes claim government is stalling

Published 16/07/2015 | 02:30

Mary Collins, left, at a Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors protest at Leinster House yesterday with her daughter Laura and grandchild Angel Mary Britton
Mary Collins, left, at a Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors protest at Leinster House yesterday with her daughter Laura and grandchild Angel Mary Britton

Survivors of Mother and Baby Homes believe that the government is intentionally slowing an inquiry into the scandal with a policy of "deny until they die".

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A commission of investigation was established to investigate 14 Mother and Baby Homes nationwide and a sample of county homes.

However, chairperson of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors Paul Redmond said that too many people are being excluded from the investigation.

"We feel that the government are stalling every inch of the way in the hope that elderly survivors will die off," said Mr Redmond.

That sounds very cynical, but most of us are cynical," he added.

A number of groups representing survivors of the Magdalene laundries and several homes protested outside the Dáil yesterday and called on the government to expand its inquiry.

Among them were three generations of Angela Collins's family. Ms Collins had her three children, who were born out of wedlock, taken from her in 1963 and placed in care.

Her daughter Mary (54), from London, who was two years old at the time, said that this was despite records saying the children were well nourished and cared for.

"I had no contact with my mum from the age of two until seven," said Mary.

Suicide

"My big sister was 14 years old and taken to The Good Shepherd's (laundry) in Cork. She spent three years there, but when she came out she died by suicide."

Angela Collins was put in a Magdalene laundry for 27 years until she died.

"My mum was made sign adoption papers for my younger sister so that she could see me. I was brought to the laundry, but when I was there I was punched and kicked," she said.

"I hated her because when I was brought to see her I was beaten, kicked and told that I was 'dirty like my mother' by the nuns. I had horrendous abuse."

Irish Independent

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